Notice of Waking

Lulu notices that Kou is starting to settle in as a shin, and teases him about his new bond to Shirogane. Drama, I-2, MANGA CONTINUITY

Character(s): Kou, Lulu, Shirogane

Kou didn’t realize he was humming until Lulu leaned over the back of the couch, positively smirking. "You’re looking more like yourself lately, Chibi. Did something good happen?"

Kou gave her an aggrieved look to remind her that he hated to be called that. "I always look like myself."

"No you don’t." She perched on the back of the couch, examining him like a specimen. "Ever since you got here, you’ve been moping. And hiding yourself away and not talking to me at all." She pouted at him and he rolled his eyes.

"Go play with the kokuchi, then."

"That’s not the point." She rapped him over the head and he yelped and ducked. "The point is, you’re finally acting like you think you belong here." She leaned over him and he leaned back. "Come on," she coaxed, "tell senpai what happened."

"Nothing happened," he muttered. "I just… got comfortable."

She pursed her lips judiciously. "Hm. Well I know it wasn’t me. I guess that leaves Shirogane-sama." She eyed him up and down, smirk creeping back.

Even though he knew it was the worst idea in the world, Kou couldn’t help flushing just a little.

Lulu squealed. "He did! He did do something!"

"No, he didn’t," Kou insisted, because who knew what Lulu was thinking. "He just… we just had a talk, okay?"

She sobered. "A talk, hm? Did he finally lose his patience with you?"

Kou winced.

"I’m not surprised." She fixed him with a chiding look. "You’ve been the most pathetic excuse for a Child I’ve ever heard of. Even if this is only temporary—"

"I know, I know!" Kou cut her off, waving his hands to stem the lecture. "I got that, okay?"

"You haven’t seemed at all guilty, though," she mused. "So that wasn’t all that happened."

Lulu, he decided, was way too perceptive for anyone’s good.

She laughed, probably at his expression. "All right, I won’t ask what else. But it’s good to see you’ve accepted him as you should." She ruffled his hair, ignoring his indignant attempt to bat her hand away. "Besides," she added with a wicked smile, "you’ve always been one for the formalities. Bet it feels good to serve a king properly again."

"Oh knock it off," Kou grumbled, face hot again.

Shirogane’s presence tugged at him and they both looked up to find him standing in the door. Looking amused, Kou noted dourly.

"You’re not very kind to your juniors, Lulu," he observed, strolling over to join them.

"It keeps everyone young," she said serenely.

"Perhaps we should look harder for more shin, so you’ll have more people to spread your efforts among?" Shirogane rested a hand on Kou’s shoulder, a glint of teasing in his eyes.

"I’d be all for that," Kou agreed, fervently. Anything to get her attention off him. He leaned into Shirogane’s hand a little, just basking for a moment in the warmth of his presence, his power, the feeling of belonging. He didn’t know how he’d held out against this so long. In fact, he couldn’t quite remember why he had; Shirogane would give him back to Ryuuko when it was time.

"I need you to take a message to Shisui today." Shirogane smiled. "You can keep an eye out while you’re there."

Which was as good as permission to look in on Akira for a visit. Kou smiled up at him, grateful. "Sure, Shirogane-san."

"Tell me how they’re doing." Shirogane brushed Kou’s hair back lightly while he colored a little, and turned to go.

Lulu leaned down to whisper in Kou’s ear, "Chibi-puppy is so cute with his master."

Shirogane looked over his shoulder and shook his head as Kou did his damnedest to catch the laughing Lulu and strangle her, but left them to it.